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Which Accounting Software is Best for Canadians?

Tracking the financial health of your company is extremely important. Selecting the right bookkeeping and accounting software will make a huge difference in your ability to record and track your revenue and expenses. Here is a guide to help you understand which accounting software is best for Canadians.

Benefits of Selecting the Right Program

Valley Business Centre recently assisted a rapidly growing construction company in transitioning their bookkeeping and accounting to a system that was better suited for their type of business. The solutions we provided gave the company a much-needed edge to continue operating efficiently and effectively. 

Key Challenges 

  • Their current system was desktop-based and required the delivery of many boxes of paperwork to our office. 
  • The management team didn’t have quick access to financial statements to help drive business decisions. 
  • Their current program had limited capabilities, didn’t support vital business applications, and wasn’t scalable to support their growth. 

How We Helped

Solution: We set up a cloud-based storage system (Hubdoc) for their documents and filing.

Benefit: This eliminated the need to deliver physical documents to our bookkeeper and made their process paperless. 

Solution: Our team completed a full evaluation of the company’s system and recommended moving to a cloud-based program that better fit the needs of the business. We recommended our client move from the desktop version of Sage 50 to Xero Accounting. 

Benefit: The management team was able to get 24-hour access to their financial information instead of waiting for their bookkeeper to provide the information. 

Solution: We helped transition the management and payment of company expenses to the Valley Business Centre team. 

Benefit: This freed up the administrative staff’s time to focus on other important business tasks.

Solution: Our team set up a full suite of integrated apps to support the business including time tracking, inventory management, and construction management apps. 

Benefit: These additional features allowed our client to fill important gaps and get the maximum benefit from the program. 

QuickBooks Online Canada

QuickBooks is probably one of the most well-known accounting programs on the market. The program, which was developed by Intuit, has a full suite of accounting tools for businesses of all sizes. The program costs $20 to $50 per month depending on which plan you select.


  • Web-based and is easy to access from anywhere. 
  • An easy-to-use program for new or small business owners.
  • Integrates well with many programs including Intuit’s Turbo Tax Canada for tax preparation.
  • Most bookkeepers and accountants are already familiar with QuickBooks. 
  • Well-established program and it is easy to find troubleshooting help online. 


  • QuickBooks Online Canada can be confusing for people with limited bookkeeping or accounting experience.
  • Some features from the desktop version are not available in the online version. 
  • Technical support isn’t always helpful. 
  • The program can be expensive including monthly fees and payment processing fees. 

Xero Accounting Canada

Xero is a cloud-based bookkeeping program that is specifically designed for small businesses and has all the basics you need to get started. The program costs $15 to $52 per month depending on which plan you select.


  • Xero is web-based and is easy to access from anywhere. 
  • Integrates with many well-known programs such as PayPal and Payoneer.
  • User-Friendly for non-accountant users.
  • Xero has a great mobile app for bookkeeping on the go. 


  • Xero is lesser-known, and some bookkeepers or accountants may not be familiar with the program.
  • Xero does not have an integrated payroll module for Canadian users. If you will be processing payroll, QuickBooks Online Canada may be a better option. 
  • Slow customer service. Xero doesn’t have phone support so customers must rely upon email to resolve issues. 
  • Lots of additional fees for add-on services. 

Sage 50 Canadian Edition 

Like QuickBooks, Sage is a giant in the industry. Currently, the most widely used accounting software is Sage 50 Canadian Edition. In addition to accounting and bookkeeping software, the company offers a wide range of other business management tools. 


  • Sage 50 Canadian Edition is widely used, and most accountants and bookkeepers are already familiar with the program.
  • Integrates with the wide array of other Sage business software. 


  • Desktop-only version makes collaboration difficult. Sage recently released a hybrid version called Remote Data Access, but the program doesn’t work as well as other online-based programs. 
  • This program receives many customer complaints about technical difficulties. 
  • Sage charges additional for help beyond basic technical support. 

Sage 50 Cloud (Sage 50c) 

Many businesses demand immediate and easy access to their accounting and bookkeeping systems from anywhere. For this reason, Sage introduced their cloud-based version of their popular Sage 50 program – Sage 50c (or Sage 50 Cloud). 


  • Sage 50 Cloud is web-based and is easy to access from anywhere. Better ability to collaborate with your accountant or bookkeeper.  
  • Has all the same features as the Sage 50 desktop version making it an easy transition from the other program. 
  • The expense capture feature allows users to take a photo of receipts. 
  • Integrates with the wide array of other Sage business software. 


  • Can be difficult to learn for people who are not familiar with bookkeeping and accounting software.
  • Technical support for Sage products is expensive. 

Still Not Sure Which Program is Right for You?

Selecting the right accounting and bookkeeping program can be overwhelming. Sometimes it’s best to just trust an expert. For over 30 years, the team at Valley Business Centre has been providing comprehensive accounting, bookkeeping, and tax services to our clients in Whistler, Squamish, the Sea to Sky Corridor, and metro Vancouver BC areas.


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